ALLENTOWN, Penn. — Lehigh Valley centerfielder Leandro Castro hit a two-out, two-run homer off of Gwinnett reliever Pat Egan in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the IronPigs to a dramatic 4-3 comeback win over the G-Braves in the finale of the four-game series at Coca-Cola Park.
With the loss, Gwinnett concluded the road trip at 4-4.
Egan (0-1) had entered the bottom of the ninth with a 3-2 lead. He allowed a one-out single to Steve Susdorf, and two batters later, yielded Castro’s sixth home run of the year on his first pitch of the at-bat.
Gwinnett (25-34) had taken a one-run lead thanks to a clutch hit in the top of the ninth inning by Jose Constanza. With the score tied at 2-2, Matt Pagnozzi shot on a one-out double down the left-field line off of Lehigh Valley reliever J.C. Ramirez (2-2). Sean Kazmar moved Pagnozzi to third with a single to right. Constanza then delivered an RBI single to left scoring Pagnozzi for a 3-2 lead.
Lehigh Valley (27-30) took the early lead in the contest, scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth off of Gwinnett starter Yohan Flande. Cody Overbeck led off the inning with a double and scored the game’s first run on a bloop double to right by Josh Fields. The hit extended Fields’ hitting streak to 13 games. Fields moved to third on an infield single by Troy Hanzawa, and scored the second run of the inning when Lehigh Valley starting pitcher Raul Valdes grounded out to second.
The G-Braves scored their first run of the game in the top of the sixth. Singles by Constanza, Todd Cunningham and Ernesto Mejia loaded the bases with one out, and Joe Leonard followed with a sacrifice fly to center to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Then in the top of the seventh, Joey Terdoslavich drilled a one out solo homer to right for Gwinnett, tying the game 2-2 and setting the stage for the ninth inning. The homer was Terdoslavich’s 10th of the season, as well as his International League-leading 32nd extra-base hit.
Egan worked 0.2 innings in the loss, allowing two hits and two earned runs. He replaced Cory Rasmus, who struck out one over 0.2 innings. Juan Cedeno replaced Flande in the seventh and worked 1.1 innings with one hit. Flande gave the G-Braves a quality start of 6.0 innings with seven hits and two earned runs while walking one and striking out one.
For Lehigh Valley, Ramirez got the win with 1.0 inning of work, allowing three hits and one earned run with one walk and three strikeouts. Justin Friend worked 2.0 innings with a run on one hit. Valdes started and went 6.0 innings with five hits, one earned run and six strikeouts.
At the plate, Gwinnett was led by Constanza (2-for-5, RBI), Mejia (2-for-4) and Kazmar (2-for-3), who each had two hits. Leonard went 0-for-3, ending his 10-game hitting streak.
The walk-off homer by Castro capped a 2-for-5 effort. Overbeck (2-for-3) and Fields (2-for-4, RBI) each had two hits as well.
The Gwinnett Braves return to Coolray Field for an eight-game homestand beginning Tuesday night with the first of a four-game series against the Rochester Red Wings. Left-hander Sean Gilmartin (3-4, 4.26) will start for the G-Braves, while right-hander Kyle Gibson (4-5 3.38) gets the start for Rochester.